FAQ

For further questions not listed here, please contact us!

SHOPPING ELIGIBILITY

Who is eligible to shop? 

All full-time instructional personnel from traditional K-12 Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) schools with more than 60% of students in Free and Reduced Lunch Program (FRLP) may shop at A Gift For Teaching (AGFT) once per calendar month. Instructional personnel include classroom/general education teachers, media specialists, guidance counselors, nurses, principals, assistant principals, and deans. At this time, custodians and administrative support staff such as administrative assistants, paraprofessionals, and positions assigned to other departments other than a school, are not eligible to shop unless they are serving as a Proxy shopper for an eligible teacher.

Charter school shopping eligibility varies by school. Charter schools listed on the OCPS Title 1 school list may shop at AGFT once per month.  Each charter school is responsible for updating their teacher list with AGFT. New charter school teachers school should check with school administration to verify their information has been submitted to AGFT prior to shopping. Charter schools not listed on the OCPS Title 1 list may be considered for our Shopping Representative Program.

 Head Start teachers are eligible to shop once per month. It is the Center’s responsibility to update their teacher list with AGFT. If you are a new teacher to the district, please check with your Center to verify you have been updated on their list with AGFT.

OCPS schools with less than 60% of students in FRLP may designate up to two full-time instructional personnel to reach the needs of the school with our Shopping Representative Program. School administration is responsible for registering their representatives with AGFT prior to shopping.  Only designated representatives on file may shop at AGFT up to four times per calendar month for the entire school. Please check with your school for your current shopping representatives.

 What is a Monthly School? 

Eligible monthly shopping schools include OCPS schools with 60% or more students enrolled in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, charter schools listed with Title 1 status, and Head Start teachers. Teachers at monthly shopping schools may shop once per calendar month at our Free Teacher Supply Store, Pencil Boy Express – The Mobile Free Store, or Pencil Boy Online. Pencil Boy Online orders can be placed up to 3 times per school year.

 What is a Representative School?

Eligible representative shopping schools include OCPS schools with less than 60% of students enrolled in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program and charter schools not listed with Title 1 status. Up to two representative teachers may shop four times per calendar month at our Free Teacher Supply Store or Pencil Boy Express – The Mobile Free Store to reach the need of the school. Schools must register their representatives with AGFT prior to shopping. Pencil Boy Online is not available at representative schools.

What if I am a new OCPS teacher? 

It may take some time (especially over the summer) for OCPS to set up all new and incoming teachers’ employee records. Once you have received your OCPS ID number AND set up your Outlook email account, AGFT can verify employment and add you to our eligible teacher database. If you are able to sign-in to Outlook and find your name entry in the employee directory, we can find you, too! Please be aware, this process may take OCPS until the first day of class due to the high number of employee record changes that occur over the summer.

What if I changed OCPS schools?

Please check the list of high-need schools with monthly shopping eligibility. If your school is not listed, you may still receive supplies through our Shopping Representative Program. Please check with your school principal for current shopping representatives. Once OCPS has updated your employee record, shopping may begin! Please be aware, this process may take OCPS until the first day of class due to the high number of employee record changes that occur over the summer.

YOUR SHOPPING TRIP

Is it really free? How much is a shopping trip worth?
Yes, it’s really free! On average, our teachers leave the Free Teacher Supply Store with $425 worth of valuable school supplies for their students. To us, that’s priceless.

How do I get to A Gift For Teaching?

Click here for directions and hours to our Free Teacher Supply Stores.

When can I shop?

The Free Teacher Supply Store is open for teacher shopping August through May on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2:30pm to 6:00pm and Saturday from 8:30am to 12:00pm. The supply store is closed on Monday, Friday, Sunday, and during summer break. Please be sure to check our shopping calendar for any changes and/or store closings prior to shopping.

Pencil Boy Express – The Mobile Free Store visits 2-3 different locations each month during the school year from September through April. Locations will be announced in our teacher emails and social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).

Pencil Boy Online opens the first of each month September through April. Pencil Boy Online is not available at representative schools.

 Are you open during school holidays?

Please check our OCPS Shopping Calendar for shopping days/hours as well as holiday and store closings. Any changes will be listed on our website. Don’t forget to pick-up a pocket shopping calendar the next time you’re in the Free Teacher Supply Store!

May I take supplies for my own children if they attend a monthly school?

All items distributed at the Free Teacher Supply Store, Pencil Boy Express – The Mobile Free Store, and Pencil Boy Online are for student and classroom use only. Items are to be used for the benefit of your students and may not be taken for personal use or for your own children. Items may not be sold, bartered, or traded in accordance with IRS regulations.

 May I bring my teaching assistant or ed-para with me to shop for our classroom?

Due to size limitations in our Free Store, there is a strict “No Guests Policy” inside the store, including children of any age. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Can I shop for someone else?

Eligible teachers may designate a Teacher Proxy Shopper to shop for them at AGFT. Teachers are responsible for communicating with the designated OCPS colleague shopping for them and collecting their supplies.

 What if I have not received my OCPS badge yet?

It may take some time for OCPS to set up all new and incoming teachers’ employee records. Once you have received your OCPS ID number AND set up your Outlook email account, AGFT can verify employment and add you to our database. If you have not received or forgot your OCPS badge, a valid photo ID, such as a driver license, is required to shop.

How long does it take to shop? 

For your very first shopping trip, we suggest you allow one hour to be amazed at all the great things available at AGFT. First time shoppers will be welcomed by an AGFT volunteer for a brief tour and an explanation of the store shopping process. Wednesdays and Saturdays are always our busiest shopping days.

 Are there any product limits for shoppers?
Yes. To ensure that supplies can be fairly distributed to all schools and their students, many items have product limits. Those items are clearly marked with the maximum quantities allowed. There are sections of the Free Teacher Supply Store without product limits as well.

 May students volunteer at A Gift For Teaching for community service hours?
Of course! Students ages 14 and older are encouraged to fulfill their community service hours at AGFT. Click here for more information on volunteering.

Our Partners

  • OCPS
  • Disney
  • KINF
  • A Gift For Teaching of Osceola County